Memorable Quotes from the World Economic Forum in Davos

Posted by: Diane Brady on January 31, 2009

“We don’t need help. We are not invalids. We don’t have limited mental capacity.” Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, responding to a question from Michael Dell on how the IT industry might help Russia.

“I haven’t yet seen people get all the right people into the room and close the door and put a solution up on the wall.” Jamie Dimon, CEO, JPMorgan Chase.

“Don’t let’s lose sight of what creates wealth: it is open markets, it is capitalism.” Rupert Murdoch, CEO, News Corp.

“When it comes to killing, you know very well how to kill. I know well how you hit and kill children on beaches.” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Israeli President Shimon Peres.

“The tragedy of Gaza is not Israel, it is Hamas and if rockets were fired into Istanbul, you would have reacted the same.” Israel President Shimon Peres in response to criticism from Turkey’s prime minister.

“There is no fundamental change in the external environment for China’s economic growth.” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

“As a Main Street company, we have been tainted by the other street. We’ve been tainted by association.” Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo.

“I’m about as bad or good now as I was then.” Microsoft founder Bill Gates, on how he has changed since leaving the CEO role to focus full time on philanthropy.

“The thing we know about protectionism is that, in the end it protects nobody, least of all the poor.” U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

“Poor chap. There’s huge expectations on all fronts. We should all help him by reducing expectations.” Koffi Annan, former Secretary-General, United Nations, talking about international reaction to Barack Obama.

“It’s been surprising to me how members of government have been in demand … We’re still, rightly or wrongly, regarded as the ones with resources.” French finance minister Christine Lagarde.

“Almost by accident, China got it right.” Victor Chu, chairman, First Eastern Investment Group, on China’s fiscal policy going into the credit crisis.

“There is no way we can have transparency and accountability (in international organizations) if we don’t practice them in our own countries.” Kgalema Motlanthe, President of South Africa.

“The reality is that the banking system has failed … (and) a malfunctioning banking system makes it very difficult for any company to operate.” Peter Sands, Group CEO, Standard Chartered Bank.

“Thank you for calling me a European.” Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, after Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk called him a “charismatic European politician.”

“I hope it works for him.” Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, on hearing that Russia’s Vladimir Putin came out in favor of free enterprise.

Any others?

Reader Comments

Mark

February 2, 2009 4:20 PM

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao:The financial crisis was "attributable to inappropriate macroeconomic policies of some economies and their unsustainable model of development characterized by prolonged low savings and high consumption; excessive expansion of financial institutions in blind pursuit of profit" — and other excesses.

Mark

February 2, 2009 4:30 PM

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao:
The financial crisis was "attributable to inappropriate macroeconomic policies of some economies and their unsustainable model of development characterized by prolonged low savings and high consumption; excessive expansion of financial institutions in blind pursuit of profit" — and other excesses.

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